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Aretha Franklin Reportedly Has Pancreatic Cancer

Singer, who was hospitalized last week, has yet to comment

December 8, 2010 5:48 PM ET
Aretha Franklin Reportedly Has Pancreatic Cancer
Bryan Bedder/Getty

Soul legend Aretha Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to reports in The Detroit News , Detroit's Fox 2 and The National Enquirer — though phone calls by Rolling Stone to two Franklin representatives were not returned. (The News credits "a source familiar with the situation"; Fox 2 says its source is a relative of Franklin's.)

Aretha Franklin: Rolling Stone's No. 1 Singer Of All Time

Franklin recently canceled all of her tour dates through May 2011 and last week had a surgery for an unknown ailment. In a statement, the singer called her surgery "highly successful," though Detroit residents held a prayer vigil for the singer last week, and Jesse Jackson visited her in the hospital last Friday.

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly lethal form of the disease. Most people die within one year of the diagnosis, and less than five percent of them live more than five years.

Aretha Franklin Stricken With Cancer [Detroit News]

Aretha Franklin Has Cancer [Fox 2]

Aretha Franklin Cancer [National Enquirer]

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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